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Red Rover

Today:

My conversation with cartoonist Gabrielle Bell, whose The Voyeurs was one of my favorite books of 2012 and remains lodged in my brain. Gabrielle’s matter-of-fact tone just burrows in deeper with each reading. Anyhow, here a bit where I berate her for how she spends her time:

NADEL: What have you been doing?

BELL: I don’t even know. [Laughter.] I’ve been doing portraits on the Internet.

NADEL: Right, the Skype portraits.

BELL: And that takes a lot of time. And that’s pretty much it.

NADEL: And that was just straight up, you needed rent?

BELL: Yeah. Also, I just wanted to try it. Seemed like I was broke, and I had this idea, and I saw that nobody else was doing this on the Internet, and I was like, “Maybe I can corner this market.”

NADEL: Why Skype?

BELL: Last year I did it from photographs. That just didn’t work for me. It was just — I worked too hard on each one, and they always came out feeling stiff and awkward. Maybe because I’m not formally trained as an artist. I just don’t know what I’m doing. And then it took so long, and then the same thing is happening with the Skype project, but I like them a little better.

NADEL: But what’s the difference between a Skype image and a photograph?

BELL: Well I guess, for one thing, everybody is in the same position. I like drawing people’s portraits. So I guess the idea is that I’m sitting on a street corner doing portraits, only it’s on the Internet, in the comfort of my own home. That was the idea.

NADEL: And it’s like 40 bucks a shot?

BELL: 35, but —

NADEL: That’s cheap!

BELL: I know.

NADEL: You’re not charging enough!

BELL: That’s what people say, but —

NADEL: You need a business manager.

BELL: [Laughs.] I need a lot of things. And a lot of people.

Also, here’s another preview of TCJ 302, this time featuring the Toon Treasury Think Tank.

Elsewhere:

It’s digital vs. print over at Tom’s place.

Nick Abadzis names his desert island comics.

Neal Adams is doing an awesome job of being Neal Adams.

You can now download Reid Fleming comics and pay what you wish. That’s a fine comic.

These days I hesitate to mention Jack Kirby on this blog since it inevitably leads to a deluge of bizarre outpourings/Tourrets-like symptoms/cries-for-help, but I can’t resist. Here is the original art for 16 pages of a 1966 Thor story, and, yep, it’s pretty great to look at. Just spend some time looking at all those scale shifts.

Finally, this is a good idea and an excellent online exhibition for a project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory show, in which even some cartoonists exhibited.


One Response to Red Rover

  1. patrick ford says:

    Gabrielle Bell can draw better than 99% of the people currently working in comics of any kind. What a drag she’s not making really good (sounds like barely a living) money from her work. Hey people at the NEW YORKER why not have her do some spot illustrations and covers? You would be doing the magazine and it’s readers a favor. Cartoons would be nice as well.

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